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A healthy diet is important when trying to avoid regaining lost weight. These easy diet tips and tips to eating healthy make maintaining weight loss a lot simpler.
Tips To Eating Healthy All Year Long
Maintaining weight loss is a concern for almost everyone who loses weight. When it comes to keeping the weight off, it is important not to fall back into the same old, unhealthy eating habits and to make healthy eating one of the lifestyle changes needed for permanent weight loss. Here are a few simple tips for eating healthy to maintain weight loss.
If you are reading this thinking that you have been doing a lot to live a healthier lifestyle…but…
But the scale hasn’t changed.
Maybe it went up.
You are busting your bum and your aren’t getting the results you want, what is the point? Oh, I have said that MANY of times. In fact, just this morning after a 5.5 mile run I jumped on the scale and it said I was UP a pound. I will be honest, I about threw the scale. I lost 700 calories on that darn run and THIS is how my body repays me?!
How in the world is that fair?
But what did I eat this weekend?
I will confess, there were cheese sticks and nachos in my past. Not that splurging now and then isn’t totally okay in my book, but I can’t expect to lose 3 lbs and eat like that regularly. I will work out, drink my water and watch what I eat and that pound will go away in a day or so, but times like these make you realize that it doesn’t matter how far I run, how many Jazzercise classes I go to, you have to watch what you eat in order to see the results you are craving.
Remember, Eating Right and Exercising go hand-in-hand…it’s like they’re married.
Here are 11 Tips For Eating Healthy:
1. Drink Water 1st Thing in the Morning
I know drinking isn’t eating, but drinking water first thing gets your body ready for the nutrients you are going to feed it during the day.
2. Eat Breakfast
Make your 1st meal a good one. If I start the day eating right, I tend to watch what I eat for the rest of the day closer. I love starting my day with a protein smoothie or healthy muffin. I also enjoy Light Greek Yogurt with fresh berries.
3. Watch Those Snacks
If you know me, you know snacks are my weak spot. I work at home, so I have a refrigerator and pantry within arms reach 99% of my day. Do you have any idea how HARD that is?! My solution is to get rid of the temptation! No, I didn’t get rid of all my food 😉 I have snacks readily available that I CAN eat – veggies, fruits, lower fat chip options, etc. I have two kids and they love chips, doritos etc. and I don’t mind them having them now and then, so in my mind – I “label” those things in my pantry “Kids Snacks.” I won’t eat the “Kids Snacks” because I feel like I am taking their treats away. That may sound weird, but it works for me!
4. Eat Your Vegetables
Didn’t our parents tell us that time and time again when we were growing up? They weren’t just saying that to be mean, they were saying it because they are GOOD for us. It is proven that eating your fruits and vegetables is good for us. Greens (collard, turnip, mustard, and beet greens along with spinach, kale, and Swiss chard) are cool-season plants (spring and fall), but they can be enjoyed all year long. They are good sources of vitamin A, vitamin K, Folic acid, fiber, iron, calcium, and many other nutrients. Try sautéing greens with olive oil, garlic, pepper flakes, or toasted sesame seeds as a side dish or add them to soups, salads, and sandwiches.
5. Portion Control
UGH. This another hard one for some…including me. Don’t eat until you feel like you are going to explode. Eat the recommended portion, not the portion that totally fills your big ole dinner plate. Starting healthy eating habits now, so when all those parties and big family meals come you will already be in the habit of eating healthier. Use a food diary to keep track of when what and how much you are eating. Break out the measuring cups to help refocus your portion sizes.
6. Make Small Switches
A few things I have done recently is putting Vanilla Greek Yogurt on my strawberries for dessert instead of ice cream, I have added a small amount of Coconut Oil to my protein shakes, I cook with Coconut Oil, I make sure there is a vegetable on my plate with dinner and/or a salad, I switch the chips for carrots or celery, I switch rice out for quinoa, or add in some quinoa with my rice, sometimes I eat only half of my bread/bun…or go with no bread at all, and I make sure I am drinking those 60 oz of water a day. Look at what you eat daily and see what small things you may be able to switch up.
Here are some other easy switches you can make:
- Use low-fat or fat-free versions of milk, cream cheese, sour cream, and other dairy ingredients.
- Reduce sugar by 1/3 in recipes, especially those recipes containing fruit.
- Reduce or substitute a fruit puree for 1/3 of fat in recipes.
- Use egg substitutes or egg whites instead of whole eggs to cut fat and calories.
- One large egg = 49 calories, 3 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat. The equivalent of egg substitute = 28 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated. The equivalent of egg whites = 17 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated.
- Leave out the salt. It is not needed in most recipes. Salt to taste upon serving.
- Buy low sodium broths or make your own. To make your own, save the liquid used to boil vegetables or meat, freeze it in ice cube trays or freezer bags and use it later for soups and stews.
- Increase the fruits and vegetables in recipes. Play with fruits and vegetables to add taste and texture to stews, soups, casseroles, and sides instead of ingredients with more fat and calories.
7. DON’T Completely Deprive Yourself of the Things You Like
Don’t completely take out your favorite “treats” from your life, if you do, you may find yourself being weak one day and eating two boxes of Girl Scouts Cookies. Moderation is the key. Not that I’m talking from experience or anything 😉 Peanut butter…chocolate….
8. Be Careful When Eating Out
You can still eat out, just put your thinking cap on when ordering 🙂 A LOT of restaurants have menus now that have the fat and calorie count, or a Lighter Fare menu, so make sure to look at that. If you are somewhere that doesn’t have that, ask for steamed vegetables, not those cooked in 8 tablespoons of butter, get baked, not fried. I think you get the idea.
9. Consider Tracking What You Eat and/or Your Calories
Counting calories and watching every portion isn’t necessarily required to maintain weight after weight loss, keeping a food journal for a couple of months after meeting weight loss goals helps to stay on track as far as calories, portion sizes, macronutrient ratios, and eating habits. Check out the FitBit or any other of the electronics out there that help you track steps and food. There are also free apps, like Fooducate or SparkPeople that are available for Androids and apple products. You can also keep a Food Journal, you know, with an old school pen and paper 😉
10. Give Yourself Motivation
Put a picture of that swimsuit on the refrigerator that you want to wear come Spring. Put the Size of the Jeans you want to fit into on the mirror in the bathroom. Put a picture of a place you are planning a vacation to in your car. If you SEE what you are working towards, it may help you to stay on track.
11. Reward Yourself
Not just when you lose all the weight you want, but when you have had a good day, week, whatever! If you don’t say GOOD JOB first, who will? You are more likely to stay on track when you feel good about yourself.
Eating Healthy to Maintain Weight Loss
Once the weight is lost, the body typically requires fewer calories than before. For most people, counting calories is not required to maintain weight loss, but portion control is. To keep portions in check, learn correct portion sizes, or use a food scale or make controlling portions easy by using a portion control plate.
Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, but not just because they are full of vitamins and minerals that boost health and vitality. Fresh or frozen, fruits and vegetables are ideal for including in a weight maintenance diet as they are low in calories and fat and are full of fiber. The fiber in fruits and veggies keeps the body feeling fuller longer and helps keep blood sugar levels under control.
Combine complex carbohydrates and protein at every meal and snack to promote satiation and reduce the risk of overeating. Choose lean meats, fish, eggs, beans, or nuts as protein sources and complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, or legumes.
Watch fat intake by choosing low-fat versions of dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese and cook with olive oil instead of butter, margarine, or lard. Read food labels to make sure there is no added sugar to make up for the lack of fat in certain foods.
Prevent feelings of deprivation by eating favorites in moderation. Those who deprive themselves have an increased risk of overeating or binge eating. It is easier to stick to a healthy eating plan which incorporates favorite foods and beverages in moderate amounts.
While maintaining a weight loss is one of the hardest parts of losing weight, making smart food choices, eating favorite foods in moderation, and keeping a food journal can make weight maintenance easier.
I know that when the holidays arrive, that can bring on a whole separate level of anxiety when it comes to eating healthy, that’s why I wrote this article on How To Eat Healthier Over The Holidays, so be sure to check that out as well.
In the end, please realize that you are an amazingly beautiful person that you deserve to be happy. So, go ahead…workout, meet that 35 day challenge at Jazzercise, register for that Half Marathon (or FULL!), and treat your body right.
What is one of your healthy eating tips? Please feel free to share them in the comments!
*I am not a doctor or nutritionist, this are just my tips.